Police Data Petition Update

On May 24th, a group of community members met with City Staff to discuss the details of the data sets requested for release in Code for Asheville’s Petition for Police Accountability Through Data Transparency. We are happy to report that the meeting went exceptionally well, and we were able to address all of the privacy concerns identified using the techniques in our initial proposal – excluding the names of citizens and officers, and generalizing addresses to the block level.

We were able to reach consensus for release of the following data sets: Traffic Stop Data (including geographic location), Citation and Arrest Data, Emergency Call Data. These data sets have been “green-lit” for release, and City staff are working to make that happen as soon as possible. City Staff had previously “green-lit” the release of Crime Reports, Demographic information of officers, and policies and reports.

Our next meeting will focus on the fields to be included in the release of the two remaining, but extremely important data sets – Use of Force Incidents and Citizen Complaints. City Staff have already confirmed their commitment to release this information in a responsible manner, and we are confident that we will continue to move forward in a collaborative manner to accomplish our goal of data transparency within our Police Department. Thank you to everyone who has signed, shared, or otherwise supported this effort!

Code for Asheville’s Petition also includes support for the Written Consent policy reform proposed by the NAACP and Southern Coalition for Social Justice. Carmen Ramos-Kennedy, President of the Asheville Buncombe County NAACP, has issued a Call to Action and needs our help! Please read Carmen’s statement here, and a sample Support letter to Council here.

We have created a Facebook event for Council’s June 19th meeting that includes the call to action from Carrmen, as well as supporting documents around traffic stops and written consent. Please continue to support the effort.

Fun fact:  we have more than 1,050 online and in-person signatures on the petition and have the endorsement of over 30 organizations and businesses. Let’s keep it going!